In early 2020, we provided a grant to the community leaders of the 6th communal section of La Gonave, Petite-Anse, to help them pave 3.1 kilometers of road connecting the center of town to a port used for transporting goods. The community has already raised over $33,000 and paved over 2.7 kilometers of the road.
The story of this community-led road paving project is inspiring. One day the community’s leaders realized they could no longer wait for the government or an NGO to come and pave the road for them, so they took the project on themselves. They worked three years to save taxes, and collect donations from community members, local churches, Haitians living abroad, the local mayor’s office, and a couple of government ministries. In a few instances, they even navigated the tricky situation of asking that donations designated for less sustainable activities in the community be used instead on the road. Residents volunteer their time collecting water and carrying rocks and local construction workers work on the road for a fraction of what they usually would be paid.
It is an incredible community-led project, and a real example of what residents are capable of doing when they come together.